Tag Archives: Germany

On our last morning in Germany, we went to Seeshaupt.

I was absolutely not drunk, but some of my photos seem to suggest otherwise. I can only assume that wandering around a picturesque lake on a quiet morning has an intoxicating effect on me, and that I shouldn’t drive after visiting one.

I also shouldn’t drive because I will spend far too much time searching for something called a chococult. Though to be fair, that’s true when Rand’s behind the wheel, too. (But more on that in a moment.)

Seeshaupt is rather lovely, and is located on the Starnberger See (which, despite the homophonic tendencies, is not actually a sea but a lake). If you go early on a Sunday morning in the springtime, you’ll find that the air still carries a chilly edge to it, and the water is remarkably still and clear. The only sounds are the calls of a few birds, the constant hum of buzzing insects, and the occasional chime of a church bell.

If you have the misfortune of being there when I am around, that soundtrack will also be punctuated with me making lots of terrible jokes. My apologies. (In my defense, I was provoked.)

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Inside the Schrannenhalle Marketplace in Munich’s Old Town.

 

As an American, it’s often weird going to Europe, because their consumer culture isn’t anywhere near what we have at home. There are shops, sure, but there isn’t the same onslaught of … stuff.

In the U.S., we understand that you haven’t really had a proper vacation until you’ve purchased at least three shot glasses, four shirts, one bottle opener, and a teddy bear all emblazoned with the name of the place you visited. If you don’t have those things, how will anyone know you went there three summers ago?

They won’t. And that’s just tragic.

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My dad lives in a small Bavarian village about an hour outside of Munich. I usually don’t blog about it, even though it’s crazy adorable, because it’s also immensely sleepy and boring. The little hamlet shuts down after 6 or 7 pm on weekdays. And pretty much all day on weekends. And Mondays, too. It’s virtually closed whenever it rains, or if it’s chilly out, or when it’s too sunny to do anything. Also, on holidays dedicated to random saints you’ve never heard of (St. Klaus of Kartoffelsalat, St. Franz of Ausfahrts, and others*), which seem to happen every other day or so.

If someone could explain to me why St. Sigfried of Wochenender’s Day is celebrated on a Tuesday, that would be very helpful.

Also, the internet connection is very bad, so Rand has to work outside. Yes, his laptop is balanced on a stump.

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The point is, there isn’t very much to do. I doubt you’d find it all that interesting. But that’s kind of why we love it. Sometimes, when life is really overwhelming and crazy (and for Rand, it often is), there’s nothing better that being bored out of your skull, you know?

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It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Bavarian, and all Rand wanted to do was go to Garmisch. He wanted to sit in the sunshine in a picturesque Bavarian town and do nothing all morning, besides eating a pretzel or three.

“But we’ve been to Garmisch a dozen times,” I whined.

“That’s because Garmisch is amazing.”

And that’s fair: Garmisch is lovely. But I wanted to see what else this corner of Germany had to offer. So when my stepmother suggested we visit the AlpspiX – a viewing platform high up in the mountains, reachable only by cable car, I insisted we go there.

“For the blog,” I said. And poor Rand, he caved, even though all he really wanted to do was sit around. He is a good man.

A good, patient man who deserves lots of pretzels.

The drive from my father’s home to the Wetterstein Mountains, where the AlpspiX can be found, is as lovely as a postcard.

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I have trouble describing my dad. He’s not incredibly cheerful, but he isn’t melancholy, either. I don’t think anyone would call him warm, nor would it be accurate to say that he’s unfriendly.

If I were forced to put his demeanor into words, I’d say he’s rather serious, and often rather annoyed. His annoyance usually stems from the fact that everyone else around him is failing to be serious.

Yes. That sounds about right.

This makes it rather difficult to take a photo with my dad, because for the most part, photo-taking is not serious business. And the command to stand and smile while someone snaps picture after picture of you can annoy just about anybody.

Consequently, I’ve stopped asking him to pose for pictures, and just nab a few candid snapshots when I can.

But on this trip, he was uncharacteristically chipper.

It was kind of weird.

So Rand and I decided to press our luck. We made my dad take a few photos with us. And, well, they turned out quite nice.

Here’s my dad with Rand:

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Rand and I stopped in Garmisch for a quick snack at a bakery (because if I say I need a snack, 90% of the time what I mean is “I need a pastry). Upon leaving, I noticed the sign on the restaurant across the way, and went in for a closer look.

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Taken: Summer, 2010, Seattle. Found: Spring, 2014, Bavaria.

 

We are sitting in a cafe in Füssen, eating a way-too-sweet (but still delicious) merengata dessert when it happens. The screen on my new camera flashes “memory card full” and then goes to black. I can’t take any more photos.

“What the hell?” I yell, and then, for reasons that are still confusing to me now, I start to shake the camera. Unsurprisingly, this has no effect on the fullness of the memory card.

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I had been to Neuschwanstein once before, in 2005. I went with my parents. Both of them.

I do not recommend going anywhere with my parents. I love them both – I really and truly do. Without them, I would not exist, and I am such a huge fan of existing.

But good heavens, there are the two most incompatible humans on the planet. I’m not surprised they got divorced. I’m shocked they were ever together.

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